Determined to ensure that the sexual harassment that runs rampant throughout the fashion industry does not go undiscussed in light of increased attention to such abuses following the New York Times’ expose of film executive Harvey Weinstein, Cameron Russell is helping to call attention. Using the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse, Russell, a model and activist, is helping other models share their experiences.
"We need a way to begin breaking the silence while remaining protected," wrote Russell after sharing a screenshot of one model's story. "We are not talking about one, five, or even twenty men. We are talking about a culture of exploitation and it must stop."
According to Refinery29, “Russell is lending her Instagram to those who direct message her with stories to share, posting screenshots of each one as permanent posts. The stories, so far, range from verbal abuse to physical, and post-traumatic — and every single one is downright heartbreaking.” All of the stories thus far have been posted anonymously.
Russell - who has walked in the Victoria's Secret fashion show, appeared on various Vogue covers, and fronted campaigns for Chanel, Prada, Tiffany & Co., and H&M, among others - has been an important voice in terms of advocacy in the fashion industry, including but not limited to her 2012 TED Talk, entitled, “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.”
As she puts it, herself, Cameron has "produced viral video content on topics ranging from climate change to race and gender equity, and you can find her writing about climate change, fashion, public art and political power. She's one of the lead organizers behind Model Mafia, a growing network of over 400 fashion models building community and power, striving for a more equitable just sustainable industry (and world)!"